I am receiving link removal request emails from a company who must be having problems with their Google rankings.

They have either been notified by Google that they have links coming from bad websites, or taken the matter into their own hands.  They have decided to clean up their back link profile in order to improve their rankings in the search engines.

Having done an analysis of all their incoming links, they have decided that a link from the Hallam website is a “bad” link, and sent a removal request asking me to get rid of the link to their site.

This is a copy of the email I’m receiving:

Link Removal Request Wrong

What is wrong with this link removal request?

  • They have not provided me with the specific  page URL containing the link they want removing.  Instead, they said there is simply a link somewhere on my site and expect me to hunt around and find it
  • They expect me to notify them once the link has been removed. I am doing them the favour of removing the link, and have neither the time nor inclination to reply
  • I have now received 5 copies of this email, and I removed the link as of the first request.  They are not recrawling or updating their link removal request database when links have been successful removed
  • Repeated requests to remove links will often lead to successful removal, but they are sending the exact same message, at 3 day intervals.  Testing different messages, or escalating message content might be more successful

link removal request repetititon

  • They are using a one-size fits all strategy for link removal.  The Hallam website is a high quality site based on a number of trust measures that Google takes into account. A link from our site will not damage your back link profile. My guess would be that this company is getting rid of all no follow links that are a result of blog comments, which could potentially be damaging in terms of artificial anchor text.  But having found the link on our site, I found that they had left a rather harmless looking comment, with non-branded anchor text. So this link request, unfortunately is throwing the baby away with the bathwater.

3 Lessons to learn from this link removal request

  1. Make absolutely sure that you are asking for appropriate links to be removed, and don’t make sweeping generalisations of links you want to get rid of which will result in losing good links
  2. Make it is as easy as possible for the offending site to get rid of the bad links by providing the specific URL of the offending page with the link
  3. Use appropriate tools to track and update the removal of your inbound links.  You will need this information as part of restoring your reputation with Google.


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